Jayden Henson and the Marietta girls soccer team was having a breakout season.
The team was 6-3-1, 3-1 in Region 3AAAAAAA and was primed to play Hillgrove for the region lead. Then, on the evening before the game, the announcement came that schools would be closed for at least two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“That was my dream to play Hillgrove,” said Henson, a four-year letter winner. “Ever since I began playing for Marietta they have been our huge rival. This season, with the huge roll we were on, we were really pumped.”
Henson, an outside midfielder, said she thought everyone would be back after the initial two-week delay, but that was dashed earlier this month when the remainer of the spring season was cancelled for good.
“I cried a few times,” Henson said. “It feels like we’re missing out on so much. I was really upset.”
The seniors managed to have a socially distant senior night by all meeting in a local parking lot. It’s just one of the memories she will take with her when she heads to Georgia with her International Baccalaureate diploma and 4.44 grade-point-average.
During her freshman season the Lady Blue Devils played McEachern and she scored her first goal.
“Just getting to score as a freshman seemed like a monumental moment,” Henson said.
This season, she added to the memory bank.
“Last season we struggled,” Henson said. “This season, when we beat North Paulding, we realized we can do this. Last season we lost to McEachern twice. Our last game this season we beat them 11-1.”
With the season coming to an abrupt end, Henson said the advice she would offer the players coming behind her was simple — take advantage of the opportunities.
“Make the most of it,” she said. “Now that I can’t play, I would want them to enjoy their practices and games, because you never know when it could come to an end.”
After playing the game since she was 7-years-old, Henson said she would likely be hanging up her cleats for competitive soccer, but she may try to play in an intramural league. The reason is she expects to be busy with her studies.
“I’m undecided about a major right now, but I’m thinking about pre-med,” she said. “I’ve been thinking about becoming a dermatologist.”